One of the first things to remember when considering which type of flooring to choose for the home is that it all depends in which room it is being fitted. For instance, carpet is probably not a good choice in the bathroom, while it may be perfect for the bedroom.
Here are just a few examples of the various options available, their advantages and disadvantages and which work best in each room.
Linoleum used to be one of the country’s favorite flooring materials thanks to its durability and low cost. In more recent times, it came to be seen as old-fashioned and outdated. Today, however, it is making a comeback thanks to the fact that it is available in a huge range of patterns and colors. The material’s versatility is
enhanced by being available in either roll or tile form.
Linoleum has a number of advantages. It has hypoallergenic properties, being made entirely of natural materials; it is also biodegradable, does not attract or trap bacteria and dust, is resistant to mildew and requires minimal maintenance. The pattern runs through the entire thickness of the material, which means that even in areas of high traffic the pattern remains unchanged.
There are a few disadvantages with linoleum. It does not work with all decors and, being a relatively stiff material, is difficult to cut to shape. It also has to be glued to the subfloor and, in order to ensure maximum
longevity, must be treated with a protective coating at the time of installation. Regular polishing is required to prevent fading.
Linoleum is regarded as being a mid-price flooring material, ideally suited to bathrooms and kitchens.
Hardwood flooring has been around for centuries; it is not unusual for a 100-year-old property to have its original floor. The most popular types of wood today are maple and oak, although a wide range of shades, thicknesses, widths and finishes are available.
The many advantages of hardwood flooring include virtually unmatched durability; it can be sanded down to remove marks and scratches; and maintenance consists of sweeping or vacuuming, wiping over to remove spills and applying wood cleaner from time to time. Wood is perfect for allergy sufferers, as it offers no hiding place for dust, pollen and other allergens.
Perhaps the most significant disadvantage of wood is that it lacks any sound-deadening qualities. Twice-weekly cleaning is essential as dust and marks tend to show up quite quickly and it can feel a little chilly to bare feet in the winter months, so if installed in a bedroom the addition of rugs may be appreciated.
Wood floors are not cheap; they cost considerably more to purchase and install than most other forms of flooring. With so many varieties, grains and colors to choose from, wood can be used in both modern and traditional properties and will suit almost any décor.
Carpet is one of the most versatile of all flooring materials, being available in an almost limitless range of colors, patterns and textures. It can be extremely economical or seriously expensive, depending on the brand and material selected.
Most modern carpets are stain resistant, though spills must be wiped away as quickly as possible and, if more serious incidents occur, companies such as Action ChemDry offer water extraction and cleaning services. Other plus points are that it has great sound-deadening qualities and is warm, so winter heating bills can be reduced.
The major disadvantages to carpeting relate to moisture, mildew and staining; carpets and liquids simply do not go well together. Asthmatics and allergy sufferers may have issues with carpet fibers, which make the ideal home for mites, dust and bacteria.
Thanks to the range of materials and styles on the market, carpets will work with just about any décor and in any home, no matter what its architectural style. Carpeting is suitable for use in most rooms with the possible exception of bathrooms.